Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Republicans didn't help with Muhlenberg
Dottie Gutenkauf

We in Plainfield have begun to get campaign mailings featuring photos of rallies with people carrying signs urging that Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center remain open, and accusing our Assembly members, Jerry Green and Linda Stender, of "allowing" Muhlenberg to be shut down. These mailings are being sent by Republican Assembly candidates Marks and Vastine, who appear to have suddenly discovered Plainfield - and Muhlenberg — even though they are both from Scotch Plains, right next door, one of the communities Muhlenberg served for more than 130 years.

Many of the people who were active in the struggle to save Muhlenberg and are now involved in efforts to restore it are asking, "Who are these people?" and "Where have they been all this time?" Those are good questions, and they deserve honest answers.

I have been deeply involved with the efforts to save Muhlenberg from the very beginning, and I can answer those questions. These people are Republican politicians, and the fact is that they didn't express any concern at all about Muhlenberg until they started campaigning. The first "Save Muhlenberg" rally was held on March 1, 2008 — and while Assembly members Jerry Green and Linda Stender and Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs spoke at the rally, Marks and Vastine were nowhere to be seen. The rally was planned by the People's Organization for Progress (POP) and drew hundreds of people.

POP then sponsored weekly meetings of the Save Muhlenberg Coalition, beginning on March 3, 2008, as well as other rallies and demonstrations; and POP and the Coalition filled the Plainfield High School auditorium at the two public hearings held by the State Health Planning Board (SHPB) on May 6 and June 5, 2008. POP and the Coalition also brought more than 150 people to the SHPB's June 26, 2008 meeting in East Windsor, at which the closure of Muhlenberg was approved.

Assembly members Green and Stender, as well as Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, attended and spoke at those SHPB meetings urging that Muhlenberg remain open and continue to serve the 13 communities in its three-county area. Although leaders from surrounding communities, medical professionals, and Plainfielders spoke out, once again Marks and Vastine were nowhere to be seen.

The closure of Muhlenberg was approved by the State Health and Senior Services commissioner on July 29, 2008. At that point the "Save Muhlenberg Coalition" became the "Restore Muhlenberg Coalition," and began to urge the mayor and the city to appeal the commissioner's decision. With the mayor's leadership and City Council approval, the City of Plainfield filed a legal appeal, and so did POP and the Restore Muhlenberg Coalition.

North Plainfield joined Plainfield's lawsuit as a "friend of the court" and the matter is now before the State Appellate Court, where a hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Coalition meetings continued on a weekly basis through November, 2008, when they became monthly instead and I was asked to chair them. Throughout this entire time, a host of Plainfielders, too numerous to list, has been active in a variety of ways, all of them dedicated to bringing Muhlenberg back to serve Plainfield and the surrounding area.

Again, Marks and Vastine have not participated in any of these efforts - in fact, neither has ever attended any meeting of the coalition. Although there was one meeting of another group to which Vastine was brought by a Republican now running again as an Independent — and Vastine did show up at the Coalition's memorial service marking the anniversary of Muhlenberg's closing — he and Marks have been conspicuous by their absence from our community's struggle to save and to restore Muhlenberg ever since the issue first became public in early 2008.

But now that they are running for the Assembly, Marks and Vastine are suddenly concerned about Muhlenberg and the Plainfield community it served so well for so many years, and we in Plainfield must be careful not to be taken in by their campaign rhetoric and misleading mailings. No matter how one feels about our current Assembly members, Jerry Green and Linda Stender, or Plainfield mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs — and in the interest of full disclosure, I support their re-election — it is undeniable that they have consistently been there and supported our efforts to regain what we have so tragically lost.

The Republican Assembly candidates' current posturing about Muhlenberg is a cynical political ploy designed to fool Plainfielders into thinking they care about us — and speaking of cynicism, I can't help wondering if the mailings we've gotten have also been sent to the other communities in our Assembly district. I wouldn't be surprised to see Republican candidates Christie or Pivnichny show up with bright ideas and campaign promises, but the only real question is, "Where they have been all this time?" And the only honest answer is that like Marks and Vastine, they haven't been here — either in our community's struggle to save Muhlenberg or in our continuing efforts to reopen it.

The loss of Muhlenberg by this community is too important to be used as a political football by candidates who were absent until they were on the ballot. This train left the station long ago, and they missed it. Facts matter, and in this case the facts speak for themselves. And Plainfield voters are smart enough to look at the facts before they vote.

Dottie Gutenkauf lives in Plainfield.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Less than a week and still no answers

We have less than a week to go before the election and it’s obvious my opponent would rather try to make people in the 22nd District think that I’ve done something wrong than talk about issues. Almost his entire campaign has been focused on attacking me personally and making accusations regarding my business background. I feel some of his remarks have crossed the line. I have a wife, I have children, and a reputation in the community. I don’t feel like I should have to answer personal attacks from someone who just moved here from Texas.

My opponent continuously talks about a piece of property in the City of Linden which I legally purchased over 40 years ago. I was trained early in my career on how to make good investments. Over a 25 year period I have been able to buy and sell property and make a good living. I’ve done business with banks and companies of good reputations in my community. There is no problem with my record as businessman. So when he speaks of Jerry “What’s in it for me”, I am offended. I have donated to the community more than I have received out of politics. Bo accused me of benefitting financially from Solaris and the Muhlenberg closing. Yet he cannot provide one shred of proof. He just writes more lies and distractions.

The millions of dollars that I have brought to just Plainfield, one of the cities I represent, to help educate our children, should tell you where my priorities are. These are the same dollars that Bo and Christie want to take away, which should tell you where their priorities are. When the library needed help, I was there for them. When our seniors needed help, I was there for them. When Union County College was in trouble, I was there for them. Bo, I’ve been in politics for 25 years and I have been a resident of Plainfield, and I have given back. You have yet to tell me what you have done and what you’ve given back.

My opponent would rather talk about this than the issues or what he has done to make a living. The only thing he speaks of is being a financial advisor. Did he advise Bush on how to destroy this country? How many of his clients did he give bad advice to? In fact, who is Bo? What does he stand for? What has he done? He’ll never answer these questions. Bo, if you don’t have information to share with the public then you shouldn’t make accusations that you know are not true. I could spend my time asking my opponent questions that don’t matter, but I choose not too. This election must be about the issues. It’s what the voters of the district deserve.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


October 22, 2009

Assemblyman Gerald Green
17 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Assemblyman Green:

On behalf of New Jersey State Nurses Association's Interested Nurses Political Action Committee (INPAC), we are pleased to inform you that the Board of Trustees has endorsed your candidacy for the New Jersey General Assembly.

Our members support you because they believe that you will advance legislation and lend support for some of the most serious issues facing nursing. We value your perspective on issues affecting health care in our State and look forward to working with you to develop solutions.

We hope this endorsement is helpful to your campaign. We have publicized your endorsement to our members through The New Jersey Nurse, our official newsletter and through press releases. Again, we thank you for your support and wish you great success in the election and in your term in office.


Terri Mount, RN
Chair, INPAC

Barbara Wright, RN, PhD, FAAN
Treasurer, INPAC

Monday, October 26, 2009


October 14, 2009

Assemblyman Gerald "Jerry" Green
Assembly Candidate, District 22
1460 Prospect Ave.
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Assemblyman Green:

On behalf of the New Jersey Tenants Organization, it is my pleasure to inform you that you have received our endorsement of your candidacy for Assembly in District 22.

We believe you have satisfactorily demonstrated your concern for tenants. As an advocate for tenants' rights and interests, you warrant the praise and votes of all the tenants in your community.

We are especially gratified that you are committed to maintaining local rent control without state interference, to opposing making it easier to evict tenants from their homes, to giving tenants full credit for the property tax they pay, to opposing the false water/sewerage sub-metering bill and to supporting our real conservation approach, requiring replacement of water wasting plumbing fixtures with low flow devices that meet strict standards.

You can be proud of your commitment to upholding the rights of tenants. We look forward to your being a voice for tenants in the next legislature, after your victory!

Yours truly,

Matthew B. Shapiro


This is Garden State Equality Chair, Steven Goldstein's, response to Bo Vastine's blog titled "Alleged Endorsement", see below.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dear Mr. Vastine:

First, call me Steven. I am receipt of your email to me of earlier today and of your voice mail to me last night. I apologize that did not respond immediately, as I was observing the Jewish Sabbath, which ends Saturday on sundown.

Garden State Equality indeed endorsed Jerry Green and Linda Stender for reelection on Friday. We sent the exact statement to our members on Friday that Jerry posted on his blog later that day. He posted it in full and did not change a word of it.

In writing endorsement statements, we do not collaborate with candidates and nor do we share drafts with them. Once Garden State Equality’s board endorses a candidate, a member of our board writes an endorsement statement. I wrote Garden State Equality’s statement endorsing Jerry and Linda. I also wrote the entry on your blog, which you removed, confirming that Garden State Equality endorsed Jerry and Linda, and that the endorsement statement was indeed ours.

Mr. Vastine, I understand the pressure you feel in these last days of a campaign. Regardless of whom Garden State Equality endorses, I respect anyone who puts him- or herself out there before the public. It’s not easy.

But it was plain odd for you to state on your blog that Jerry Green or his campaign must have written the endorsement statement – that it didn’t come from Garden State Equality. Why didn’t you just reach out to me first before making that unfounded accusation, rather than after?

It is also odd to tell Garden State Equality what might or might not be beneficial for the LGBT community, which is our life’s work, and on which you have no apparent record. Members of Garden State Equality have worked alongside Jerry and Linda for years, not only since our organization’s founding in 2004, but also in earlier capacities for many among us. Jerry and Linda have been tireless, heroic leaders for equality, exactly as we wrote in our endorsement statement. Contrary to your assessment, Jerry and Linda have both spoken out for equality for many years, right before our eyes.

You ask whether our endorsement was based on an assessment of candidates’ position or hearsay of local voices. Our endorsement was based on far beyond that. As we said in our endorsement statement: Garden State Equality is a full-time civil rights organization which works with public officials nearly every day and night of the year. We know the work of incumbents up close and personally. When we endorse candidates, it is not based on perceptions from headlines or mere statements of support come election time, but on the candidates’ work behind the scenes. We get to examine very closely the extent to which incumbents fight for the causes they believe in, and whether they succeed. You say you have been “very clear in (your) support for equality for all members of our society.” We wish that were the case. You and your running mate Martin Marks both said during a recent debate that you oppose marriage equality. You gave the calculated answer that you agree with the President on the issue, which is the too-cute-by-half response of an anti-marriage equality candidate running in a progressive district with a large LGBT population.

Mr. Vastine, the failure of the civil union law to provide equality to LGBT people, as a marriage equality law would, has caused much human suffering. Because too many employers and hospitals do not recognize civil unions as they would recognize marriage, many same-sex couples in New Jersey are going without adequate health insurance. They’re not allowed to make medical decisions for one another. They’re not even allowed to visit one another in the hospital.

Employers and hospitals say that if the legislature intended for the civil union law to be the same as marriage, the legislature would have used the same name. It doesn’t matter that there’s legal recourse: You can’t file a lawsuit and get a verdict when you’re in the emergency room.

You wrote to me today that your position on equality is a “nonissue.” Not to us, Mr. Vastine. The lack of marriage equality in New Jersey affects peoples’ health, their relationships, their dignity and their lives.

In the 22nd legislative district, Garden State Equality has endorsed the two candidates who understand that best, and who have long put their actions where their hearts are. They are Jerry Green and Linda Stender. We stand by that decision with pride and passion.


Steven Goldstein
Chair, Garden State Equality


From: Joan Hervey
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 4:43 PM
To: '
'Cc: ''
Subject: Letter to the Editor (sent before 5 pm, Thursday 10/22)Importance: High

New Jersey has its challenges, but we are among the most progressive states in the US.

Let me say this to all the good folks who celebrate our new president and the new era of hopefulness that we are so blessed to have ushered in: Don’t let New Jersey fall into the hands of the party that brought you the Iraq war, tax breaks for the richest of the rich, the Medicare drug donut hole, repressive anti-woman, anti-middle-class, anti-poor people, anti-gay, anti-worker, anti-everything-America-SHOULD-stand-for policies, destructive environmental and education programs, and aggressive and arrogant foreign policy… I could go on but you get my point.

Yes, you and I and everyone we know are in the midst of a Global economic crisis! Our Governor, Jon Corzine, believes that State government has a responsibility to provide a helping hand to those who have been hit the hardest. It is during these times that we must ensure that all families are receiving the support they need. Jon Corzine, with the support of a majority Democratic Assembly and Senate, has enacted family-friendly programs such as: the historic Family Leave insurance: the expanded Earned Income tax credit; and he has expanded health care for children and families through the New Jersey Family Care program. He has prioritized high quality early education initiatives which have resulted in measurable improvement in test scores in cities and towns like Plainfield, where our elementary schools are now testing on a par with Scotch Plains. His education initiatives have helped to narrow the gap between African American and white students. New Jersey is one of only three states to narrow the achievement gap in fourth grade reading and one of only fifteen states to narrow the gap in fourth grade math. Chris Christie has called the early education initiative “baby sitting,” and would eliminate it-- with devastating consequences.

Even before our economy began to crumble, Governor Corzine established strong and wide programs for economic growth in New Jersey. These initiatives have positively impacted the business community in New Jersey by eliminating the “S-corporation” tax which has saved $275 million for NJ businesses; allowed full deductibility of net operating losses; and created “Invest NJ” and “Main Street Business Assistance” providing $50 Million in financing for small and mid-sized businesses. As a result of these forward-thinking, progressive business friendly policies, New Jersey is poised to rebound from the global recession stronger and more supportive of business than ever before.

During the last four years, Governor Corzine has re-prioritized the state budget and proved that government can do more with less. He is the only governor in over 60 years to cut the budget two years in a row, cutting $4 Billion this year alone by streamlining government, reducing the state workforce by 8,200 positions, and signing a 2010 budget that is $1.8 Billion less than his first budget. He has ended reliance on gimmicks like raiding the state pension fund and the unemployment insurance fund, and eliminated “Christmas tree” spending on pet projects.

Most important to me personally, Governor Corzine is supporting full Marriage Equality and has promised to sign a Marriage Equality bill when it reaches his desk. Chris Christie has vowed NOT to sign a Marriage Equality bill. The difference is stark and undeniable. If you are a gay or lesbian citizen of New Jersey, PLEASE think before you consider voting for any Republican candidates!

In the 22nd Assembly District, which includes Clark, Dunellen, Fanwood, Green Brook, Linden, Middlesex, North Plainfield, Plainfield, Rahway, Scotch Plains, and Winfield, there are two Republican challengers running against Assemblyman Jerry Green and Assemblywoman Linda Stender. Those Republican candidates have both publicly announced that they do not support Marriage Equality. They have said that if elected they would put forth a ballot referendum to “let the people decide.” This would bring California’s Proposition 8 fiasco to New Jersey! Is this something that ANY gay person would support? In this country, the majority does not (or should not) decide on the rights of a minority! If there were ballot referenda on slavery or voting rights for African Americans in the South, our country would be very different to this day.

Assemblypersons Green and Stender have been very supportive of equal rights for gay citizens, and Assemblyman Green has been an outspoken advocate for equality, both in his position in the Assembly leadership and his public statements. They have both publicly stated that they will support a Marriage Equality bill.

The national Republican Party has been focusing on New Jersey as one of the only two states with Governor’s races this year. There has been a dizzying influx of money and operatives working for Republican candidates in local and state elections.

Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric! Don’t be taken in by the window dressing! Don’t be blinded by smoke and mirrors! Chris Christie and his Republican cohorts DO NOT BELONG in New Jersey’s State House! Re-elect Governor Jon Corzine and Assemblypersons Jerry Green and Linda Stender in the 22nd legislative district!

Joan Hervey is a founding member and former Deputy Executive Director of Garden State Equality, Communications Director of NJ Stonewall Democrats, and founder of Plainfield Area Equality.

Friday, October 23, 2009

This email from Garden State Equality announces the organization's endorsements for the two state Assembly seats representing the 22nd legislative district, where you live. The state Senate is not up for election this year.

The 22nd legislative district includes Clark, Dunellen, Fanwood, Green Brook, Linden, Middlesex, North Plainfield, Plainfield, Rahway, Scotch Plains and Winfield. We urge you to forward this email to all your friends, family and colleagues in the 22nd legislative district.

From among the thousands of public officials who serve at all levels of government across our state, two state legislators rank among New Jersey’s boldest, savviest and most effective champions of equality. They are Assembly members Jerry Green and Linda Stender of the 22nd legislative district. For all they have done to improve the lives of millions, Garden State Equality passionately endorses their reelection.

Garden State Equality is a full-time civil rights organization which works with public officials nearly every day and night of the year. We know the work of incumbents up close and personally. When we endorse candidates, it is not based on perceptions from headlines or mere statements of support come election time, but on the candidates’ work behind the scenes. We get to examine very closely the extent to which incumbents fight for the causes they believe in, and whether they succeed.

Over the years, New Jersey’s national leadership on LGBT civil rights – and on other progressive issues such as women’s rights, education, health care and the environment – has owed so much to the magnificent Jerry Green. It is by no coincidence that New Jersey’s march to full equality accelerated when Jerry Green was elected to the Assembly in 1992. He has fought tirelessly for equality, organizing and persuading colleagues, and standing up for the LGBT community and everyone else who has faced discrimination, no matter the countervailing pressure.

Jerry has played a major role in enacting landmark legislation that has changed your life. During Jerry’s time in the Assembly, New Jersey has enacted some of the nation’s most comprehensive civil rights laws. They included anti-discrimination, anti-hate crimes and anti-school bullying laws that encompass sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression that provide sweeping protection for New Jersey’s LGBT community. No one who closely watches the inner workings of state government can say in good conscience: Those things are great, but now can we get back the election at hand? You cannot separate New Jersey’s stunning leadership in civil rights from Jerry Green’s role.

Jerry has not merely been a supporter of equality for all; indeed he is a leader. He was a driving force behind New Jersey’s domestic partnership and civil union laws and is a strong and unwavering supporter of marriage equality. When the final chapter is written on how New Jersey granted full equality to all its people, Assemblyman Jerry Green will be remembered for all time as one of our greatest heroes.

The 22nd legislative district is also blessed with the representation of Jerry’s colleague in the Assembly, the wonderful Linda Stender. A longtime supporter of LGBT civil rights and of marriage equality, Linda has spoken out forcefully about the inadequacies of the civil union law in providing equality. She has few peers in fighting for – and winning – better health care, reduced gun violence, a cleaner environment, and comprehensive justice for all New Jerseyans. Her legislation, “the Global Warming Response Act” made New Jersey the first state in the nation to establish mandatory reductions of green house gas emissions by 2050.

Indeed, Linda’s deep legislative savvy is matched by her compassion. She is one of New Jersey’s strongest advocates for making our state a national leader for stem cell research. She has worked tirelessly to support scientists in their bid to unlock cures for diseases that harm our loves ones – such as Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, diabetes and cancer. And at every turn, she has been a fearless leader for a woman’s right to choose.

For any voter in the 22nd legislative district who might be tempted to vote for Jerry and Linda’s extremist Republican opponents just because you want change, think twice: Jerry and Linda are the change. They have changed New Jersey for the better and changed your life for the better. In contrast, the Republicans in this race, Martin Marks and Bo Vastine, are so far to the extreme right, including in their mercilessly vocal opposition to equality, they’re practically falling off the face of the mainstream earth.

Assembly members Jerry Green and Linda Stender are two of the finest public servants of our time. Garden State Equality endorses them with passion.

We urge you to forward this email to all your friends, family and colleagues in the 22nd legislative district, which includes Clark, Dunellen, Fanwood, Green Brook, Linden, Middlesex, North Plainfield, Plainfield, Rahway, Scotch Plains and Winfield.

Paid for by Garden State Equality, 500 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07042.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's only fair, from one candidate to another

I was pleased today after reading the most recent blog posting of my opponent, Bo Vastine. Congratulations from one candidate to another. It is clear from the article he includes in that post that I have done nothing illegal in my prior work as a consultant while serving as a legislator. Mr. Vastine has accused me several times, including in our recent debate, of profiting from my position as an assemblyman. His research has shown him this is not true. In the past I have always been careful to separate my legislative duties from my private business. Any fair reading of this article shows how far I went to do so.

In the past two years I have taken the best and safest route possible, putting even my limited relationship with the Alman Group on hold. I am now a full time legislator and my personal business deals solely with real estate that I own. As I moved into a larger leadership role as Speaker Pro Tempore of the Assembly I wanted to avoid even the appearance of conflict. Laws and rules are changing rather fast as we deal with these issues in the Legislature. That is why even though I received non-partisan legal opinions that I could continue consulting, I have chosen to devote my full energy to the citizens I serve. I have always known that elected officials are and should be held to a higher standard. In twenty-five years of public service I have not had a problem with the law larger than a parking ticket. Now that my opponent has finally stopped arguing that I’m a criminal, maybe we can get back to the issues. The people of the 22nd District want to hear about education, health care, housing, and finding ways to make sure people can live in this State.

The high taxes in this State are a big issue. Both parties, Democrats and Republicans must take responsibility for our current situation. I’m not blaming my opponents individually but everyone knows that eight years of George Bush and Republican rule made things much worse. I’m more interested in what we will do about it. We need new plans in this State for job creation. Many people in New Jersey travel every day from the suburbs to our urban centers for work. We must make sure that we create jobs in the suburbs as well as in the cities to solve this problem. Our State’s economy cannot be fueled only by government grants and spending.

Educating our children is vital to our future. The competition from children abroad is getting larger and our kids must have the tools to compete. The Democrats and Jon Corzine have made this a top priority. That is why I was one of the key sponsors of a change to the school funding formula. All children must get a good education whether or not they live in a certain district. Creating new affordable housing is also important. That is why as Chairman of the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee I was a part of one of the most significant New Jersey housing reform laws of our generation. COAH still has problems, but we are working to fix it. Health care is extremely important as well. That is why I fully support President Obama’s health care plan. Even though George Bush and the Republicans did everything they could to break the system, only one Republican Senator voted to begin to fix it. I did everything in my power to save Muhlenberg hospital, and if Democrats reform health care, I will do everything I can to make sure it re-opens stronger than before. I have brought money to my district for education, medical care, and transportation.

I have a demonstrated record and experiences that have prepared me to offer new solutions to the problems New Jersey faces. Now that he can admit I’m not a criminal, I ask my opponent to lay out his plans, his experiences. This campaign has been all about attacking my running mate and me. Mr. Vastine, what have you done as a citizen of either Texas or New Jersey to address these issues? How have you gotten involved since moving to New Jersey? What is your record? What ideas do you have to move New Jersey forward? You say that you like to respond to blogs, well respond to these questions. It is only fair, from one candidate to another.

October 13, 2009

The Honorable Jerry Green
Assemblyman, District 22
17 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, New Jersey 07060

Dear Assemblyman Green:

On behalf of Governor Jon S. Corzine and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, I am pleased to inform you that I have approved several Urban Enterprise Zones – Plainfield awards impacting your legislative district.

Agency: Plainfield City
Grant Description: as an initial increment towards the projected Fiscal Year 2010 total Urban Enterprise Zone administrative budget
Amount: $65,358

Agency: Plainfield City
Grant Description: to support a local Small Business Development Center satellite office within the City of Plainfield’s Urban Enterprise Zone
Amount: $50,000

If you have any questions regarding this funding, please do not hesitate to contact Cathy Lipyanka at (609) 292-6420.


Charles A. Richman
Acting Commissioner

October 9, 2009

Assemblyman Jerry Green
17 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Assemblyman Green:

On behalf of the 40,000 education and health care workers represented by affiliates of the American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO) in New Jersey, we are pleased to send you this letter to announce our organization’s endorsement of your candidacy. AFT New Jersey is made up of the Council of New Jersey State College Locals, the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, the New Jersey State Federation of Teachers and AFT Rutgers. Our members work in public Pre-K-12, Higher Education, and Health Care. Your values and record of support in areas of concern to our members led us to make the recommendation to support your candidacy to our membership.

We thank you for your partnership on issues of importance and look forward to building a stronger relationship with you in the future. Collective bargaining rights, health care reform, and a fair budget for New Jersey’s working families are all at stake and we will be active in the coming months to work with our friends in the legislature to fight for our members and the well-being of the institutions and people they serve.

If you have any further questions, please contact AFT Government Affairs Agent Peter Guzzo (609-883-7481.)


Ann Twomey, Chair, AFT NJ/President, HPAE
Nicholas Yovnello, President, CNJSCL
Adrienne Eaton, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT/Chair, AFT Rutgers
William Lipkin, President, NJSFT

Assemblyman Jerry Green
17 Watchung Ave
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Assemblyman Green,

As you consider legislation that would replace your civil union law with equality, we’d like to tell you about Vermont’s civil union experience – and how you may find it relevant to your vote in New Jersey.

In 2000, Vermont became the first U.S. state to adopt a law establishing civil unions. Our state originated both the concept and the name “civil union.” At the time, we intended to put same-sex couples on equal footing in Vermont. But throughout the nine years our civil union law was in effect, it never achieved that goal. Even in the ninth year of the law, many civil union couples in Vermont faced some of the painful situations of inequality that civil union couples in New Jersey have faced.

We discovered that our civil union law harmed the children of same-sex couples. We learned, as New Jersey has learned, that labeling same-sex families as inferior stigmatized their children. Some children, for instance, were reminded of the difference by their peers at school. That’s damaging to any child.

We also recognized that preventing same-sex couples from marrying was an intrusion into religious practice. Clergy of many faiths want to marry same-sex couples as their respective faiths allow. A marriage equality law gives clergy the option to marry the couples they wish to marry, and the option not to marry anyone they do not wish to marry.

Without a marriage equality law, the government is taking away the right of religions and clergy to decide for themselves whom they want to marry. That made us uncomfortable in a country that respects all faiths and honors the separation between church and state.

In 2009, we passed a law ensuring that same-sex couples could legally marry in Vermont – by an overwhelming margin of at least two-thirds in each chamber. After nine years of living with our civil union law, the Vermont legislature understood that the passage of time would never bridge the significant gap between civil unions and equality.

Like Vermont, New Jersey has long been a national leader in civil rights. We hope you join Vermont, and the majority of states in the northeastern U.S., by enacting marriage equality.

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions.


Senator Peter Shumlin, Senate President Pro Tempore, Vermont Senate
Speaker Shap Smith, Speaker of the Vermont House

Health Professionals and

Allied Employees

110 Kinderkamack Road

Emerson, NJ 07630


1 (800) 801-5005

FAX 201-262-4335

October 12, 2009

Assemblyman Jerry Green

17 Watchung Avenue

Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Assemblyman Green:

On behalf of the 12,000 health care workers and nurses represented by HPAE, I am pleased to tell you that our Committee oon Political Education (COPE) has recommended your candidacy for NJ Assembly to our members. Candidates receiving this endorsement have a track record and commitment to access to quality health care, patient safety, and the rights of nurses and healthcare workers. We appreciate your support for these issues.

We will communicate that endorsement to our members, via email, phone and mail, as well as our participation in NJAFL-CIO labor walks. You may also use our name in your campaign material or media releases. We look forward to working with you in 2010 for our patients and our professions.


Ann Twomey,


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


October 13, 2009

The Honorable Jerry Green
New Jersey General Assembly, 22nd District
17 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Assemblyman Green:

On behalf of Governor Jon S. Corzine, I am pleased to inform you that the following communities in your district have been selected to receive funding from the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) Fiscal Year 2010 Municipal Aid Program:

Dunellen Borough
Fairview Avenue Roadway Improvements

Middlesex Borough
Mountain Avenue Road Resurfacing Project

Green Brook Township
Highland Street, Village Trail & Webster Ave.

North Plainfield Borough
Malcom Ave., Manning Ave. & Chatham Pl.

Clark Township
Various Streets—2010—Clark

Fanwood Borough
Watson Road

Linden City
Dewitt Terrace Section III & East Linden Ave. Section V

Plainfield City
Watchung Avenue, Section II

Rahway City
Various Streets—2010—Rahway

Scotch Plains Township
Jerusalem Road, Section II

As you know, NJDOT’s Municipal Aid Program becomes more popular and is very competitive statewide. Annually, the Department provides $78.75 million in Municipal Aid from the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). Under Governor Corzine’s leadership, this year, an additional $25 million from the TTF has been programmed in an effort to further assist municipalities statewide to address their transportation needs.

NJDOT is committed to providing statewide assistance to local governments for improvement and preservation of the local transportation network. The completion of these projects will help achieve this goal and pursue a transportation strategy that provides mobility through managing the local roadway system.

Thank you for your continued support of NJDOT. If you have any questions or require further information, please feel free to contact Sharon Shinkle Gardner at (609) 530-3686.


Stephen Dilts

Friday, October 9, 2009

PRESS RELEASE (October 7, 2009)


New Jersey State AFL-CIO Legislative/COPE Conference Marks
Kickoff of Labor’s Final Push to Re-elect Governor Jon Corzine

– “We are delighted and honored to be joined by the Vice President of the United States at this critical time in our state’s history,” announced New Jersey State AFL-CIO President, Charles Wowkanech. “Just as our nation proved in 2008: ‘Yes We Can’, New Jersey’s working families will show that ‘Yes We Can – Again! On November 3, 2009.’”

Today at the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Legislative/COPE conference, Vice President Biden spoke to an audience of over 600 labor delegates and labor leaders representing 1,000 local unions and one million union members in New Jersey. The Vice President declared “Governor Jon Corzine realizes what it will take to get New Jersey back on track after the pressure of the national economic recession. He is working every day to ensure that middle class families come first and that New Jersey remains a model for progress in the 21st century.”

Governor Corzine addressed the conference, laying out his vision of reform for New Jersey. President Wowkanech said, “Union members will decide this election. Working families realize what is at stake, and we are not willing to throw away 10 years worth of our collective achievements because we are frustrated over how tough times are. Governor Corzine stands with working families and will be the one to lead New Jersey back to prosperity.”

The newly elected AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler was honored at an evening reception, and she spoke about the plan to reinvigorate the national labor movement. President Wowkanech stated “As we build our national labor movement for the next generation, New Jersey’s public policies will continue to set the standard for the goals and ambitions of our nation’s working families.”

“As the state’s largest labor organization, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO is proud to exercise its fullest support on behalf of Governor Jon Corzine as well as a record number of 70 labor candidates, eight of whom are running for the State Assembly,” said President Wowkanech.

A complete updated list of this year’s endorsements is as follows.

Scare tactics about Muhlenberg!

In his “clippings” blog Wednesday, Dan Damon featured a news headline screaming “10 positions cut at Muhlenberg satellite ER.” But the actual Courier News headline, both in print and online, was “10 positions cut at Plainfield satellite facility at former Muhlenberg site.”

That’s quite a difference, isn’t it?

An actual reading of the story reveals that the cuts involved one position in radiology and nine others representing “services that were overlapping,” according to the Solaris spokesman quoted in the Courier. No mention of the ER.

In fact, a simple phone call would have revealed that there have been no staff cuts in the Muhlenberg Emergency Room. So why did Dan say the ER was being cut?

I can think of two reasons. One is that he is trying to scare Plainfielders into thinking that the services of the Muhlenberg Emergency Room are no longer adequate. But people who have used it over the past year have told me personally how competent and effective the ER is in dealing with emergency medical needs such as accidents, chest pains, etc. and how caring and efficient the ER staff was in taking care of them.

The other possible reason for Dan’s misleading headline is that there is an election in less than a month and he and his political allies are trying to blame the mayor and me (and my Assembly colleague Linda Stender) for allowing Solaris to close Muhlenberg. But it was Damon’s allies in the “new Democrats” who sat on the Muhlenberg Board of Trustees and initially approved the closure of our hospital but didn’t tell the Plainfield community. One of those individuals, a member of the previous mayor’s cabinet, sits on the Solaris Board of Directors. And many of them are supporting Republican candidates.

Is there a hidden agenda here? Does anyone want people to think the Muhlenberg ER is inadequately staffed or in danger of closing? Why would anyone want Plainfielders to think that? Unless of course they really want people to stop using it so there will be an excuse for Solaris to be allowed to shut it down.

That’s not in Plainfield’s best interest. And, it’s not in the best interest of our citizens for anyone to spread false information about our hospital or anything else. Reopening Muhlenberg as a real hospital should be on everyone’s agenda. This is an issue that affects all of us, regardless of politics. And bloggers shouldn’t make things up!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The green button.

One of my opponents, Bo Vastine, has chosen to engage in the same type of politics of division and distortion that the national Republican party used to divide this country for eight years. The working families of my district know all too well about the tax problems facing New Jersey and the City of Plainfield, in particular. And they know all too well, that these burdens are caused in large part by the disastrous policies of the Bush administration.

My stance on gay rights is a matter of public record – and I stand proudly by that record. I have publicly supported and championed gay rights, while the Republicans criticize and denounce Democrats for supporting the gay community. And I am equally proud that the City of Plainfield has welcomed and supported the gay community and gay rights.

While saying that this is not an important issue, Mr. Vastine is at the same time trying to use this issue to divide our community. He is trying to use our churches as a vehicle to drive a wedge. There isn’t a day that goes by where I do not receive petitions against gay rights and gay marriage. Clearly, Republicans are manipulating the issue.

Rather than trying to distort my record on issues that I have a clear record to stand on, I’d like to know where my Republican opponents stand on the issues that matter most to the men and women of this district. Such as:
  • Where do they stand on towns that block opportunities for more affordable housing for their residents and community?
  • Where do they stand on Abbott funding? The courts have since agreed with the formula we use in New Jersey to educate our children. Yet, their candidate, Chris Christie claims it’s a waste of money.
While we are doing all we can on the state level to promote the gay community and fight for gay rights, we know that President Obama is attempting to deal with the issue on the national level.

Mr. Vastine, my record speaks for itself. In Trenton, when it came to gay rights, I pushed the green button and all of your fellow Republican pushed the red button.

Empty promises are easy to make when you don’t have record to defend. Over the past 20 years, I have a record of real results and solutions that I’ve delivered to for the 22nd Legislative District. And fighting for equal rights for all our residents is one of my proudest.

P.S.-- To everyone who has asked how they can help our campaign, please be aware that not only do we have a phone bank up and running, we are also knocking on doors. No other town is moving as fast as we are in putting this campaign into full operation. The western part of the county will be the headquarters for the county/state campaign.


Since 2006, Jon Corzine added 1,543 children to FamilyCare inPlainfield.
Today, 7,922 children are enrolled.

Since 2006, Jon Corzine added 847 adults to FamilyCare in Plainfield.
Today, 2,251 adults are enrolled.


In 2005-06, the State spent about $107.7 million on education in Plainfield.

In 2009-10, the State will spend about $118 million on education in Plainfield.

In total, under Jon Corzine’s leadership, education funding for Plainfield was increased by more than $10.2 million.

Since 2006, Jon Corzine added more than 850 children to preschool in Union County.


This year, more than 420 seniors in Plainfield will receive an average check in the amount of $1,207 under the Senior Freeze.

This year, more than 2,010 seniors in Plainfield will receive an average property tax rebate check in the amount of $1,132.


In Union County this year, the State will spend over $1.7 million on crime and gang prevention.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


September 28, 2009

Assemblyman Jerry Green
17 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Assemblyman Jerry Green:

On behalf of the more than 7,600 members of the National Association of Social Workers—New Jersey Chapter (NASW-NJ), our political action committee (PACE) is pleased to endorse your candidacy for the New Jersey General Assembly. NASW-NJ PACE is impressed by your commitment to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

To advance our legislative priorities on behalf of social workers and the communities we serve, we are eager to work with you to address critical issues, including access to affordable health care, the availability of social services and family supports, and the advancement of civil rights. Our members in New Jersey work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, mental health centers, and public social service agencies and more than 170 social workers are in national, state, and local elected offices across the country.

As part of our endorsement, we will encourage NASW-NJ members to be involved in your campaign, and hope that you will count on social workers as volunteers and as experts on a range of social policy issues. NASW-NJ PACE will utilize its resources to mobilize social workers statewide and those residing in the 22nd District, and publicly promote our support of your candidacy.

Please list our organization as the National Association of Social Workers—New Jersey Chapter in campaign materials listing endorsements. We look forward to working with you. If you have any questions, please contact Kendra Hayes, NASW-NJ Advocacy Coordinator, at 732.248.1590.


Walter X. Kalman, MSW, LSW
Executive Director, NASW-NJ
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2009
Contact: Wayne Avery, 908-527-4742
Sebastian d’Elia, 908-527-4419


Renter’s rights during foreclosure process will be highlighted

Elizabeth, NJ—The month of October has been designed Union County Tenants Month by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Officials from the county will join with state and municipal officials to alert renters of their rights when the owners of properties go into foreclosure.

One event that is planned for the month will take place on Thursday, October 29 at the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, located at 118 Division Street. A Tenancy 101 workshop will be held from 10:00am until 2:00pm. The workshop will include tenant’s rights and how to find an apartment. For those who work, the tenant’s rights section will be repeated that same evening from 6:00pm until 7:30pm. This is a joint project of the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless and Central Jersey Legal Services.

“While emphasis has been on helping homeowners keep their homes, and rightfully so, renters have been stuck in the middle of this foreclosure crisis,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “Day after day their rights have been denied, and in some cases, they have been evicted illegally. We hope that with this designation, information will go out to renters so they know where they can get answers to their questions.”

Local community groups will join forces to get the word out to residents about the serious problems occurring as a result of the foreclosure crisis. Local media outlets are being urged to spotlight this effort during the month.

In December of last year, the Board of Chosen Freeholders formed the Union County Foreclosure Task Force to address the impact of the mortgage foreclosure crisis and to generate support for neighborhood stability in the county. State, county and municipal officials plus representatives of certified foreclosure counseling agencies, legal services, housing advocates, among others convene bi-monthly in a cooperative effort aimed at stabilizing our neighborhoods and helping residents to remain in their homes. The Task Force is chaired by Al Faella, Director of the Union County Department of Parks and Community Renewal and Frank Guzzo, Director of the Department of Human Services.

While the Task Force initially focused on helping homeowners facing foreclosure, we have learned that the impact of foreclosures quickly trickles down to residents who rent. Housing Advocates see increased numbers of individuals and families being pressured to leave their apartments because the home is in foreclosure. According to Janice Chapin, Director of Central Jersey Legal Services, “It is not unusual for tenants to come in confused as to where to pay their rent. Landlords have been dishonest and taken the rent when it was to go to the banks. Ultimately, a family can become homeless in the confusion.”

For more information on the Union County Foreclosure Taskforce, including tenant’s rights information you can log on to:

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wake Up!

Corzine hit a home run last night. Daggett did a very good job as well. The comments that I have received in regards to Chris “I Made A Mistake” Christie, however, were that he was a total embarrassment to the Republican Party. He had no answers and no plan, in fact it seemed like he was mad at the world. Now I see why Bo and Marty are running away from him, unfortunately, it is a little too late. It is obvious, from his remarks last night, that Bernice Paglia must have written his speech.

Last night Chris Christie, Marty Marks, and Bo Vastine made it very clear that they are against gay rights. They made it very clear that they are against gay marriages. They have now gone to the church community in an attempt to get their support against anyone that supports the gay community. Now they have the church community in the State of NJ passing around petitions; treating members of the gay community as if they are criminals. Unfortunately, we still have people in the gay community supporting them, when last night they publicly turned their backs on them. They feel the gay community is an embarrassment to society. Wake up Plainfield! The gay community has brought pride and respect to the City of Plainfield, so why are we allowing the Republican Party to treat these individuals like this?

Wake up Bo and Marty, you don’t know who is in your family that someday may need you to understand how they feel. However, being the conservatives that you are, you could probably care less.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


September 24, 2009

The Honorable Jerry Green
Assemblyman, District 22
17 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Assemblyman Green:

On behalf of Governor Jon S. Corzine and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, I am pleased to inform you that Plainfield City has been approved to receive a $293,615 award from the Urban Enterprise Zones – Plainfield program. This award will provide funds to support four experienced police officers within the Urban Enterprise Zone boundaries.

If you have questions regarding this funding, please do not hesitate to contact Cathy Lipyanka at (609) 292-6420.


Charles A. Richman
Acting Commissioner
Dept. of Community Affairs
State of New Jersey


September 24, 2009

Asm. Jerry Green
17 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Asm. Green:

On behalf of the 33,000 members of the New Jersey State Policeman’s Benevolent Association, it is my pleasure to inform you that our membership has endorsed your candidacy for the New Jersey General Assembly.

Law enforcement officers face many challenges, and we have turned to the Legislature many times to ensure that the men and women who serve our communities are provided with protections for the risks they face on the job. The members of the State PBA are particularly grateful for your support to provide widow’s benefits to officers who are killed overseas while serving our nation while in the military, for protecting officers from secret monitoring of their locations via GPS and for ensuring that the disciplinary process for officers is both fair and timely. Law enforcement is the first priority of government and you have demonstrated many times that you support the New Jersey State PBA, our members and our goals.

I am sure you are aware that the economy has had a negative impact on law enforcement officers. While crime rises in the State many towns are laying off police officers. We hope to rely on your continued support as we work through these difficult times to safeguard officers and the public in every part of our State.

The New Jersey State PBA is pleased to endorse your candidacy for General Assembly and we look forward to continuing to develop our successful relationship in the future.


Anthony F. Wieners
State President
NJ State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, Inc.

c: Robert A. Nixon, Director of Government Affairs, New Jersey State PBA


September 28, 2009

Assemblyman Jerry Green
17 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060

Dear Assemblyman Green:

On behalf of the 5,000 plus members of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey (PFANJ), I am advising you that the PFANJ supports your election to the New Jersey State Assembly on November 3, 2009. This endorsement is based on your support for issues that are beneficial to PFANJ members, as well as other factors taken into consideration.

The PFANJ looks forward to working with you in the future and knows that it can count on your continued support of our agenda once you are elected.

If you have any questions, please contact our Government Affairs Agent, Peter Guzzo, at 609.883.7481.


Dominick Marino
President, PFANJ